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Nicaragua eNewsletter April 2015
 
     
 
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Conscious Traveling

As travelers continue to look for meaningful and educational adventures, Nicaragua is emerging as a top voluntourism destination with a variety of environmental and community project opportunities. Organizations such as GoVoluntouring.com present volunteers with the chance to take vacations that are a mix of work, enjoyment and relaxation. One of GoVoluntouring’s trips to Nicaragua sends visitors to rural communities to install solar panels at schools, health care centers and libraries, and lets them stay with a local Nicaraguan family to be truly immersed in the culture. For travelers seeking a meaningful escape with more of a leisure focus have many opportunities in Nicaragua as well, with a wide variety of eco-lodges, sustainable resorts throughout the destination. Companies like Holidays for Humanity offer travel that focuses on things like eco-friendliness, yoga, sea turtle conservation and other holistic offerings.

Conscious

To further volunteer options, many hotels and resorts in Nicaragua are developing programs to connect tourists with local communities and to provide visitors a glimpse into authentic Nicaragua life. Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, for example, now invites visitors to dine with local families and learn the art of traditional Nicaraguan cooking.

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Off the Beaten Path: Rural and Community Tours of Tola

Nicaragua

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Nicaragua offers unspoiled beauty and charm throughout the country’s diverse regions, but especially in the rural communities of Tola, which is a municipality in the department of Rivas and approximately an hour away from Granada. Soon, the region will open its first-ever tourist route covering areas unfamiliar to most travelers. Tourism officials have identified, educated and trained community leaders from more than 25 different communities throughout Tola, including Nancimi, Tambo, Gigante, Salinas, Limón and Astilleros, to help develop tourism programs. The programs aim to give visitors the chance to explore Nicaragua’s rural life through hyperlocal experiences, all while accompanied by knowledgeable locals from these beautiful countryside communities.

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Rediscover Nicaragua’s Colonial Cities

Colonial Cities

Colonial Cities

Colonial Cities

Colonial Cities

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Two of Nicaragua’s principal towns, Granada and León, were once Spanish settlements and are now known as must-see colonial cities with stunning historical architecture and old-world attractions. Here are a few highlights of these colonial cities:

GRANADA

  • Overview: Located near the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Granada is one of Nicaragua’s most important cities historically and is currently one of the nation’s tourism hubs. Founded by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, its plazas and cobblestone streets are lined with colorful colonial architecture.

  • Things to see: A popular way to observe the beauty of Granada’s vibrant old-world charm is to rent an adorned horse-drawn carriage. Sights to see in Granada include El Parque de Cristóbal Colón, Casa de los Leones, Casa de los Tres Mundos, La Plaza de la Independencia, Cruz del Siglo monument, Palacio Municipal, the San Francisco churches and the ancient train station.

  • Where to eat: Granada’s restaurants have received recognition from major publications such as the New York Times and Travel + Leisure. For a bohemian vibe, El Tercer Ojo (The Third Eye) offers a myriad of exotic delights and is decorated with purple silk cushions and curtains. Other restaurants such as Ciudad Lounge and Espressionista offer guests delicious cuisines and local artisan work for purchase in a gastronomic setting.

  • Nearby attractions: Visitors can enjoy a relaxing boat trip through the 365 islets of Lake Nicaragua. For in-depth nature exploration, nearby Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve has a rich variety of flora and fauna in a cloud forest, as well as hiking and zip-lining.

LEÓN

  • Overview: The third largest city after Managua and Granada, León has been home to many of Nicaragua’s most noteworthy artists and writers, including the famous Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío.

  • Things to see: An important architectural monument that stands out among the city’s 16 churches is the Cathedral of León, which was constructed over 113 years. Beneath the church’s entrance lie the remains of Rubén Darío, Nicaragua’s most renowned literary figure.

  • Nearby attractions: León is a popular stop for visitors looking to visit Cerro Negro volcano and experience ash-boarding, as the volcano is less than an hour away by car. León Viejo, the ruins of the ancient city of León, is also only 19 miles away and the World Heritage Site provides a glimpse into the old city of León.

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Nicaragua’s Dreamy Wedding Venues

Wedding Venues

Wedding Venues

Wedding Venues

Wedding Venues

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Whether a stunning backdrop of lush vegetation, white-sand beach or a blue lagoon, Nicaragua presents a multitude of attractive outdoor destinations for couples looking to wed. The location options are endless: on a sailboat floating on the ocean or Lake Nicaragua, in a cloud forest, on an expansive windswept beach, or even on top of a volcano. Some properties in Nicaragua even rent out an entire eco-lodge for a destination wedding party.

The following are just a few of the hotels and resorts that offer outdoor wedding options in Nicaragua:

  • The Inn at Rancho Santana – an intimate lodge, newly opened last month, it is located on the Pacific Coast with five private white-sand beaches, perfect for couples seeking intimate dramatic settings

  • Selva Negra – an award-winning rustic eco-lodge with working farm and coffee estate, it offers an elegant stone chapel for sheltered ceremonies beneath Selva Negra’s cloud forest surrounds

  • Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa – the country’s first luxury resort offers luxurious and over-the-top options such as a pool wedding on a glass runway and a reception under a 80-foot palapa

  • Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa – a romantic and relaxing resort in San Juan del Sur located on a lush hilltop with the horseshoe-shaped cove of San Juan del Sur as a stunning backdrop

  • Aqua Wellness Resort – an eco-lodge nestled in the trees, it offers receptions with serenading mariachis, wish lanterns and spectacular fireworks on a private white-sand beach

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Here are some travel packages to fit your clients’ needs:

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Travel Packages

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

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Outside Go’s Pacific Perfection” 8-day package – beach, surf, adventure, luxury
  • Daily surf instruction and uncrowded surf breaks
  • Yoga, deep-sea fishing, horseback riding on the beach
  • Accommodations at Rancho Santana
  • Farm-to-table dining
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GoVoluntouring’s Lifting a Community in Nicaragua” package (from a week up to three months) – community, charity, adventure
  • Northern Nicaragua towns such as Jiquilillo
  • Surfing, paddleboarding, horseback riding, local market tours
  • Opportunities to give back range from teaching to medical assistance
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Greenspot Travel’s Culture & Green in Nicaragua” 8-day package – culture, explore, adventure
  • Walking tours in León and Granada
  • Masaya Volcano, Mombacho Volcano, Maderas Volcano, San Juan Del Sur, Ometepe Island, Managua and León Viejo
  • Masaya artisan market, Altagracia Museum and Charco Verde
  • Horse carriage ride, boating, hiking, surfing, biking, horseback riding
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Discover Latin America’s Nicaragua Luxury Vacation” 7-day package – explore, wildlife, culture
  • Horse carriage tour and sightseeing in Granada
  • San Juan Del Sur
  • Accommodations at Jicaro Island Ecolodge
  • Las Isletas in Lake Nicaragua, Mombacho Volcano
  • La Flor Wildlife Refuge
  • Private boat tour, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, surf lesson
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TripMasters.com’s Colonial Granada & Ometepe Island” 6-day package – history, culture, nature
  • Mombacho Volcano and canopy tour
  • Ometepe Island, Mombacho Natural Reserve, Maderas Volcano
  • Sightseeing in Granada
  • Hotel Plaza Colón, Granada and Isletas
  • Masaya Volcano and artisan arts market
  • Boat ride, hiking, explore petroglyphs

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Nicaraguan Tourism Board
Hotel Crowne Plaza, 1c Sur, 1c. Oeste. Managua, Nicaragua. Aptdo. Postal No. 5088
Pbx: (505) 2254-5191 / Fax: (505) 2222-6610
www.visitnicaragua.us